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Biosafety and biosecurity - design, construction and facility management

Margaritis, D; (2017) Biosafety and biosecurity - design, construction and facility management. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

High containment laboratories play an important role in modern society allowing for the research and diagnosis of high-risk pathogens and infectious diseases whilst ensuring protection from unintentional harm to the local community as a result of escaped pathogens. This thesis focuses on the third function, investigating pressure integrity testing. A thorough literature review of biocontainment has been conducted to present the scientific knowledge in the area and identify knowledge gaps. The theoretical background of the current integrity tests was derived, and using the resulting mathematical formulas, a comparison of the theoretical prediction of common pressure integrity tests was conducted. Furthermore, real pressure integrity testing data from a state of the art Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory was analysed. The literature review and the numerical analysis identified key limitations of the current tests, showing the need for a new testing methodology. This study contributes to science by introducing a new pressure integrity testing methodology for high containment laboratories taking into consideration biocontainment and fumigation requirements. Furthermore, the most common leakage points in containment laboratories have been identified though a thorough in-situ investigation conducted at the commissioning stage of one of the largest biomedical facilities in the world. This study suggests that gross leaks are due to a failure in construction details and identifies the importance of quality assurance at the construction stage. Also, case studies based on the work conducted with Laing O’Rourke (the Industrial Sponsor of this EngD) are presented demonstrating the industrial application of this Doctorate in pressure integrity testing of high containment laboratories. It is expected by the Author that this research will have an impact on the industry as it can contribute to the establishment of a regulation controlling the airtightness levels of high containment laboratories, which could be implemented by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure that high containment laboratories in the UK provide safe environments for the study of high-risk agents and infectious diseases.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Biosafety and biosecurity - design, construction and facility management
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Engineering Science Faculty Office
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1551533
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